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Appointed - Dr. Heather Naro
Mar 20, 2023
Apr 22, 2023
On behalf of the Board of Trustees at Schutz American School (SAS) in Alexandria, Egypt, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Heather Naro as the Head of School beginning in August 2024.
Heather is currently the Lower School Principal at the International Community School Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire a position that she has held since 2021. Heather’s other leadership positions include serving as the Elementary Director of Instruction at the Almaty International School, Almaty, Kazakhstan; the Secondary Principal at the Lincoln School, Kathmandu, Nepal; and the Elementary Principal for two years prior to serving as the Superintendent at the International School Eastern Seaboard, Chonburi, Thailand.
In the announcement from the Board of Trustees to the SAS community, they said, “Throughout her time abroad, she has been a dedicated advocate for students. Dr. Naro firmly believes in the potential of all students to succeed when provided with the right environment and support. Her passion for education and commitment to empowering students have led her to support all students on their pathway to success. The Schutz community is beyond excited for her to lead us over the coming years.”
Heather expressed her enthusiasm for becoming a part of the Schutz Family in August 2024 and being part of their second century of learning.
Search Associates would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for this position and everyone who assisted and supported the successful Head of School search process for Schutz American School.
Lana Al-Aghbar and Norma Hudson
Schutz American School in Alexandria, Egypt, an independent not-for-profit educational institution, seeks a new Head of School to build upon the school’s rich history to propel it into the 21st century. The Head of School must possess a passion for inquiry, a solid philosophical IB grounding of the PYP and MYP programs, along with a passion for a robust intervention program.
Head of School
Effective August 2024
Introduction: “Proud Tradition and Future Promise”
In the academic year of 2024/2025, Schutz American School (SAS) will begin its 101st year of existence as an American-based education program in English. The motto “Schutz is family,” has characterized SAS since its beginning in 1924. The school serves over 270 students from Egyptian and international families.
The Schutz Mission is to provide a premier education empowering all of their students to pursue their passions as confident global citizens.
School Motto: “Schutz is Family”
The Head of School Position: Schutz is a small school but one with a significant history and an extremely positive reputation.
One of the responsibilities of the Head of School is to ensure that the Schutz brand continues to be associated with the very best in American international education. Schutz teachers are recruited from or go to other top-tier schools around the world and many have gone on to be successful school leaders themselves. SAS graduates are among some of Egypt’s current leaders in government and business and other Schutz alumni can be found in prestigious positions around the world. For example, Nemat “Minouche” Shafik, a leading world economist and Schutz graduate was recently named the first woman president of Columbia University.
The new Head of School will ensure:
- The reputation of Schutz as the premier American school in Alexandria.
- The reputation of Schutz for its multicultural, family atmosphere; a school where people take the extra step to go beyond basic education and help each other beyond the classroom.
- To preserve and honor the sense of history behind a school that will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2024.
- The student-oriented nature of Schutz, informal, supportive school climate underlain by high expectations.
- The involvement of Schutz students and staff in community service.
- The status as an IB PYP and MYP school.
- The Student Support Program as a key pillar to provide every student the chance to succeed.
Critical Issues Facing Schutz in the Next Three to Five Years:
- Navigating a challenging economic environment in Egypt that impacts the operations, budget, and enrollment of the school.
- Continuing to attract, develop, and retain quality staff.
- Enhancing community confidence in Schutz by promoting and upholding academic excellence across the school.
- Continuing to improve to make Schutz an exemplary school in the region.
- Continuing to improve aging facilities that help maintain a world-class learning environment and facilitate the classroom as the 3rd teacher.
- Utilizing the MSA accreditation report, the current strategic plan, Ends Reports, and Key Performance Data to develop a new strategic plan to propel Schutz to new heights of excellence.
- Operating the school within an uncertain business climate and increasing competition while maintaining financial stability.
- Progressing with the development and execution of the IB PYP/MYP and other programs to ensure that Schutz learners are equipped with the necessary skills to adapt, think critically and creatively, and pursue their objectives and interests.
The new Head of School has a significant responsibility to develop a strong management team that can tackle change and effectively navigate different cultural groups with sensitivity. It demands a leader with exceptional communication skills, who can connect with individuals as well as large groups. The community must feel comfortable in approaching the new Head, and an open, consultative style will facilitate communication. Moreover, the new Head must embody integrity and demonstrate the ability to make difficult decisions that align with the school's mission and values.
To achieve this, the Head must be a team builder, capable of identifying and nurturing the talents of the existing staff and recruiting new members who share the school's vision. It requires fostering a growth mindset culture that encourages learning, innovation, and continuous improvement. The Head must have a deep understanding of the school's culture and dynamics to identify areas that require improvement and develop strategies to address them. The Head must also embody integrity and convey decisions that align with the school's mission and values.
Schutz has an ethos that is well-known throughout the Middle East. To preserve it, the school seeks an experienced and compassionate leader and a proactive decision-maker who inspires trust and confidence in all members of the school community. This is especially important as the school builds on its recent achievements and grows into a Future Focused School.
The Board is seeking a dynamic individual with a passion for students and educators who translates that passion into a clear educational vision for Schutz. He/she needs to be knowledgeable about inquiry-based education and the skills necessary to make learning visible to all. He/she must be able to manage transitional change with minimal disruption while embracing Schutz’s core values working collaboratively with the board.
The new Head of School must be able to develop a strong administrative team that is capable of managing change. He/She will be expected to lead the school to even higher levels of academic excellence, while making learning accessible to all.
The new Head of School:
- Embodies the very type of person in the fundamental values in our Learner Profile.
- Has international teaching/administrative experience with Middle East experience preferred
- Is able to build healthy relationships and foster trust and empathy
- Is student focused
- Demonstrates the ability to maintain and enhance the momentum of school
- Is able to execute a Future Focused School
- Is a team builder and builds a collaborative environment with stakeholders
- Has a history of medium to long term commitment in leadership positions
- Is visionary and an innovative thinker
- Is a proven leader with strong emotional intelligence
- Has a background in finance
- Is well networked with other schools and leaders
- Has a proven record of recruiting and retaining quality teachers and administrators
- US nationality preferred
- Administrative credentials
- Advanced degree in Educational Leadership or other related education fields
- Proven leadership ability
- Strong IB experience
- Proven success in collaborative leadership
Salary and benefits will be competitive and consistent with the candidate’s experience and with similar positions at other schools of similar size in the region.
Application instructions are found on the final page of this announcement
The Academic Program:
Schutz facilitates a US academic, college preparatory curriculum using IB PYP & MYP, and numerous Advanced Placement (AP) Classes offered at the High School level. English is the language of instruction. Arabic (classic and colloquial) and French are offered as foreign languages starting in Elementary School. Schutz makes service learning an integral part of its curriculum at all levels, requiring high school students to complete its CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) experience as one of the requirements for graduation.
Schutz admits any student for whom it can offer a beneficial and valid program. Lack of proficiency in English does not preclude admission. The school offers admission to students with learning or physical disabilities who demonstrate the ability to access and benefit from the regular classroom program and curriculum.
Under the current Head, Schutz has developed a leading Student Support Program, with intervention and extension available to all students. This has become the model for other schools in Alexandria and the region. Being a small school allows us to "empower ALL of our students" in their own unique ways of learning.
The academic year runs from late August to mid-June with fall, winter, and spring breaks.
Parent/teacher relationships are seen as critical to student success. To support this, parents are provided access to their child's education through ManagBac, SeeSaw, and two parent/student/teacher conferences per year. Moreover, parents are seen as partners though a very active Parent Teacher Association (PTA) that works in collaboration with students, teachers, administrators, and the Board.
The school’s focus is a personalized approach that empowers all students to act with Integrity, Compassion, Responsibility, Respect, and Resilience. It is a US State Department supported school that offers a well-rounded college preparatory program helping students develop their full intellectual, emotional, physical, and social potential.
In close partnership with parents, the experienced teaching staff of American and other highly qualified international and Egyptian educators, work to ensure that Schutz students discover and develop the talents, competencies, and character traits necessary for academic success, personal fulfillment, and civic responsibility in the 21st century.
Schutz serves students starting in the Early Years age 2 up to grade 12. SAS provides a highly rigorous and engaging curriculum that provides learners with a high-quality American-International education. SAS offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program through the Primary Years Program (PYP) and the Middle Years Program (MYP) through 8th grade. The instructional units and academic programs are based on the following standards:
Schutz offers, on average, 30 Advanced Placement (AP) courses per year providing the opportunity for learners to work towards college credits while still in high school. 100% of our graduates go on to University.
The school is a non-profit organization governed by a 13-member, self-perpetuating Board of Trustees who work very closely with the Head of School using the Carver model of Policy Governance. Schutz is accredited by the Middle States Association (MSA). Schutz will host a re-accreditation visit in the Fall of 2023. The MSA report will provide the Board and new Head of School an opportunity to use the information to strategically plan for the future of the school.
Schutz is the oldest American school in Africa and shares a common background with the American University in Cairo and Cairo American College; it retains a working relationship with both institutions, in addition to the US Embassy.
At Schutz American School, the core values are woven into everyday life. The education provided gives the culturally diverse student body the means to grow intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially. SAS believes in maintaining the sense of family and community that make Schutz an understanding, cooperative and healthy learning environment.
- Family is foundational for shaping the individual.
- Each individual has immeasurable intrinsic worth.
- Every individual has the potential and responsibility to contribute.
- Each individual is responsible for his/her choices.
- Respect of self and others is essential to any community.
- Any community is enriched by its diversity and strengthened by its ability to unite for a common cause.
- Creativity and perseverance lead to success.
- Learning how to learn in a changing world is an essential life-long process.
- Integrity is vital for the community to thrive.
Schutz American School is situated in a residential neighborhood in northeast Alexandria. The school is surrounded by high-rise apartment buildings and is located just six blocks from the Mediterranean Sea, the Four Seasons Hotel, and the San Stefano Mall. The 3.5-acre gated campus includes two classroom buildings, a planned Performing Arts Center, Design Lab administrative center, resident staff housing, an art classroom/studio, two libraries, two computer labs, and a health clinic. Sports facilities include lighted basketball, volleyball, and covered tennis courts, a swimming pool, exercise, and weight-training rooms, a soccer field, and two elementary playgrounds. The Schutz campus hosts a number of sports, academic and enrichment activities for the community including the Egyptian Robotics Competition, and Techne-summit. Schutz also works with external partners to bring After School Activities on campus which further enables our Learners to discover and "pursue their passions."
Schutz is committed to using technology in its educational program to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century. The school incorporates the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards into its approach to technology integration. By incorporating these standards, Schutz ensures that its students develop the skills and competencies they need to thrive in a digital world.
Schutz is a Google School and provides 1:1 devices for all students. In the elementary, we provide an iPad mini to students in the early childhood program, and elementary grades one to five are provided Chromebooks. Starting in middle school we allow students to bring their own devices if they prefer or we provide them with a Chromebook.
The school currently employs 67 full-time teachers, 4 part-time teachers and 7 Administrators. The Foreign, teaching and administrators staff, consists mainly of Americans (84%) in addition to other international (15%), and 66% of Egyptian professionals. Currently, 75% of foreign teachers hold advanced degrees. There are also 2 IT & media staff, a school doctor and a school nurse, 3 Administrative Assistants, 30 custodial personnel, 13 food service staff, 10 security personnel and 4 transportation staff.
The Head of School is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school. An Assistant Head of School/High School Principal, Elementary/Middle School Principal, Director of Curriculum/Instruction & Special Programs, Finance Manager, and Operations Manager comprise the senior management team of the school. To support high academic performance and the achievement of the social/emotional learning goals we also have an IB PYP/MYP Coordinator (part-time), two Assistant Principals (part-time), and a part-time all-level counselor. A part-time Athletic Director oversees a very active and robust athletic and activities program.
The Student Body:
Schutz students represent 17 countries with approximately 10% expat, 30% dual nationally, and 60% Egyptian students. Extracurricular activities are as much a part of student life as their classrooms. Students are supported and encouraged to pursue their passions, and great effort is made to expose and introduce them to activities beyond their comfort zone. Co-curricular activities include yearbook/journalism, music, drama, community service, national honor society, and student council.
Schutz American School participates locally in the International Schools Activities Association of Alexandria (ISAAA), nationally in the Cairo International Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) and internationally in the International Schools Athletic Association (ISAA). Schutz traditionally fields sports teams for Volleyball, Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, and Golf. In addition, Schutz attends Model United Nations Conferences and the Academic Challenge.
Our partnership with the PTA and other organizations such as the Rotary see Schutz hosting several annual events each year that help bring the community together, provide an opportunity for the students to support service, and expand connections within Alexandria. These events include Fall Carnival, Winter Festival, Sports Day, and a talent show, to name a few.
Members of the staff including the Head of School are recruited from abroad and live on campus. The school provides furnished apartments, daily meals, and housekeeping and laundry services so that staff can focus on their professional work in addition to enjoying personal time away from campus without restrictions. Salaries are competitive and because the school takes care of all living expenses, teachers have a great saving potential.
Egypt is an amazing country to live and work in providing Schutz staff with unlimited travel adventures in Egypt and across the Mediterranean. From white sandy beaches along the North Coast or Sharm El Sheikh to Nile river cruises, Valley of the Kings, and of course the Giza Pyramids. International airports in Alexandria and Cairo have flights to nearly all major cities around the world.
Schutz American School is a small international community and staff members are expected to contribute and participate in the ongoing life of the school community, not just teach classes. Staff members provide leadership for extracurricular and social activities for the student body.
In the interest of identifying the best candidates for this position the Schutz School Board has selected Search Associates to assist in this process. The deadline for applications is April 22, 2023. Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials listed below as early as possible as the Search Committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is found. Semifinalist candidates will be identified by Search Associates and their dossiers forwarded to the Search Committee for review. Online interviews will be arranged with the intention of completing the selection of finalists by mid-May 2023 or before.
The review of candidates will begin as soon as applications are received. The Search Committee will identify 2-3 finalists as early in the process as possible. Finalist candidates together with his/her spouse (if applicable) will be invited to visit the school in early June and will meet with the Search Committee, Board, faculty, parents, students and all other constituent groups during the visit. The new Head of School will be selected after the conclusion of the site visit, final interviews, and reference checks. The new Head of School will begin in August 2024.
Candidates should send the information listed below as a single pdf file of 5 MB or less in size attached to an email:
- A letter of application, explaining the strengths as a candidate and why the applicant is interested in the Head of School position at Schutz American School.
- A statement describing the management and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.
- A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
- A one-page list of references (a minimum of 3 referees must have directly supervised the candidate) with current addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
- A maximum of three non-confidential letters of reference that may already be in the applicant’s possession (optional).
Applications should be sent to Lana Al-Aghbar at firstname.lastname@example.org and Norma Hudson at email@example.com. Please note again that applications must be sent as a single pdf file not to exceed 5 MB.
Candidates wishing to learn more about the Schutz American School should visit the school’s website at < www.schutzschool.org.eg > The school’s student newspaper “The Gate” is also available at < www.thegate-schutz.blogspot.com >
The closing date for applications is April 22, 2023.